Power of Gratitude

Have you ever felt the uplifting force of gratitude? Sincere appreciation for little, everyday experiences positively transform your mood and demeanor.  It dismantles toxic emotions.  It overpowers feelings of doubt and despair.  Gratitude can shift the energy to enhance your life.

Let the peace of Christ
[the inner calm of one who walks daily with Him]
be the controlling factor in your hearts
[deciding and settling questions that arise].
To this peace indeed you were called as members in one body [of believers].
And be thankful [to God always]. 
– Colossians 3:15 (Amplified Bible Version)

According to MindValley Academy, “Every study done on the subject of gratitude research has indisputable evidence that gratitude benefits our bodies, minds and souls.”  You may have experienced a feeling of joy or peace while reflecting on the simple things for which you are grateful.  Regardless of your circumstance, gratitude ushers in a positive power to change your life. 

Of the many benefits, I would like to share a few that are personal to me.  

Gratitude…

gives you mental strength to overcome obstacles

guards against depression

squashes fear and anxiety

improves sleep and overall well-being

enhances your recovery time after physical and emotional trauma

guides your focus on a positive future and ushers in hope

completely changes your perspective on a situation

connects you to your Heavenly Father more intimately

reminds you of how much you are loved

is the prelude to peace and joy

Today is the perfect day to practice gratitude and experience its transformative power in your life!

The Power of Trust – Part 2

Unconditional Love

Do you trust in unconditional love? Can you handle being a transmitter and not just a receiver?  In a world polluted with hate and deception, many of us feel hopeless to experience unwavering, unconditional love.  An even greater challenge is to offer this love to another person.  Life can make a heart cold and rigid if not renewed.  You may ask yourself, “How can I trust in love and expand my capacity to reciprocate it?”  Thankfully, the Word of God gives insight in this area.  In this post, we will explore two attributes towards building trust to love unconditionally.

ALLOW YOURSELF TO BE RENEWED

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. 
I will remove your stony heart from your body
and replace it with a living one,”

– Ezekiel 36:26 (Common English Bible)

This is vital. You must surrender the pain and brokenness of your past.  Distinguish all fear and negativity ignited by your former mindset.  Revenge and bitterness have no place in your new heart.  Permit the chains of betrayal, disappointments, and lies from the people you once trusted to crumble.  If you are like me, this renewal process is ongoing.  Sometimes it seems like the more you let go, a new suppressed memory tries to sprout up and harden your heart.  In times like these, you must look ahead and focus on your best future.

Positive thoughts are instrumental to overall wellness.  Meditate on the life-giving, restorative power of scripture.  Trust the promises of your ever-faithful Heavenly Father.  Allow Him to renew your mental, spiritual and physical state.  Remember, your heart deserves a clean slate for unconditional love to flourish. 

LEVEL UP YOUR LOVE

Beloved, let us [unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another,
for love is from God; and everyone who loves [others] is born of God
and knows God [through personal experience].
The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God
[does not and never did know Him], for God is love.
[He is the originator of love,
and it is an enduring attribute of His nature.]
 – 1 John 4:7-8 (Amplified Bible)

Do you want the best for others and for yourself?  Always.  No exceptions. No matter how many times the mark is missed.  Forever.  And Ever.  This is how God loves us.  This level of love takes time to process, especially if you have been deeply wounded.  Familiarize yourself with the attributes of unconditional love so that you do not accept impostors. No longer engage in superficial or conditional love.  Guard your heart from wickedness and give it no place in your life.  Unconditional love can only come from a person who is “acquainted” with God.  Become that person and practice unconditionally loving yourself.  Level up your personal relationship with Him and your capacity for loving others will increase.  Now is the perfect time to trust God for a new heart!

The Power of Trust – Part 1

PHOTO CREDIT: PHOTOGRAPHED BY ERIN YAMAGATA; MODELED BY VICTORIA GOMEZ

What words will you trust in 2019? Almost daily, your ears are exposed to opinions on how you should behave and voices spewing a plethora of deluded advice.   On virtually every social media platform, there are discussions regarding politics, spirituality, finances, sexuality and many other issues of life. Most commentaries attempt to appeal to your senses and influence your lifestyle choices. Although you can swipe to find 12 signs for This or 7 steps to That, they rarely fit your exact situation or provide a positive resolution. 

And yet you trust in lies that will only hurt you. 
Jeremiah 7:8 (Common English Bible)

You can get lost in the chatter.  Misinformation fuels insecurities and amplifies anxieties.  In the midst of discord and confusion, you may experience intense personal emotions.  A distressed mental state can cause your discernment to become clouded and sound decisions to wane.  Despite your desire for tranquility and joy, you find yourself disgruntled on the opposite end of the spectrum.

Lord of heavenly forces, those who trust in you are truly happy!
Psalms 84:12 (Common English Bible)

You do have a trustworthy source for enlightenment.  Your Heavenly Father is the ultimate success coach and life strategist. He delights in helping you in every area – relationships, difficult times, business, dreams, health, purpose – you name it.  God loves you. He gently guides with personalized advice exclusive to you.  There are no hidden agendas, no deception, only knowledge that leads to your good success. You become stronger, carefree and full of energy! His enduring patience and wisdom will teach you about the power within you.   Even better, you can access His protection, resources and anything you need at any time and in any place. Tune in to His feed…no wi-fi needed. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
don’t rely on your own intelligence.
Know him in all your paths, 
and he will keep your ways straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 (Common English Bible)

This year is different.  Trust God.

Power To Lead

Power To LeadAre you a leader in your community, business, church, home, or workplace?  Are you looking for a more effective leadership style? Leadership is often associated with power.  It requires taking action that others willingly follow.  In the best case scenario, there is a forward action with positive results for all.

Exceptional leaders exhibit a power to influence behavior and change the course of events without dominance or limitations.  They are often studied for their remarkable style or method to accomplish the extraordinary.  Let’s take a look at a few characteristics of a quintessential leader – one still known for His impact on this world…

Jesus.

  1. Humility
    He served others instead of being served. Graciously, he showed compassion towards everyone.  His words liberated instead of suffocated. He never put people down to lift himself up.  Although he had great power and wisdom, he always acknowledged his source and reminded others that it was not solely him whom they were experiencing.

Jesus responded, “My teaching isn’t mine but comes from the one
who sent me.” – John 7:16 (Common English Bible)

 

  1. Boldness
    He broke a lot of man-made rules and displayed courage in the face of wickedness. He valued truth over legalistic traditions and customs. He was a protector and defender of those less fortunate.  Many people opposed him because he did not always choose a lawful or permissible option.

When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them,
“Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
– John 8:7 (New International Version)

 

  1. Empowering
    He did not have the desire to rule over people. Instead, he taught others to love and serve mankind.  His teachings were empowering, not oppressive or controlling. He did not withhold anything good from his followers.  He was a trusted friend and mentor.

I assure you that whoever believes in me will do the works that I do.
They will do even greater works than these because I am going to the Father.
– John 14:12 (Common English Bible
)

 

  1. Authentic
    He led by example instead of barking orders. Whether speaking to an outcast or a dignitary, a prostitute or high-ranking official – all who encountered Him met the same person.  He built relationships. He did not compromise his moral values or integrity to fulfill the mission. He was faithful, loyal and respectful to all people.

I have come as a light into the world so that everyone who believes in me
won’t live in darkness. If people hear my words and don’t keep them,
I don’t judge them. I didn’t come to judge the world but to save it.
– John 12:46-47 (Common English Bible
)

There are many leadership styles to model after, but the leadership style of Jesus has powerful results.

 

Unshakable Power – Part 3

roots-of-powerFeeling overwhelmed and anxious are emotions many of us battle to subdue.  Sometimes, they can be fueled by something extremely new or different to our normal routine.  The good news is that you can grow and flow with opportunities while remaining unshakeable at your core.  Four years ago, I posted about the challenge of what to do with yourself and emotions while God is at work.  Please allow me to share again how you can enjoy peace and remain calm while He is in control of the situation…

How can you become unshakable in the midst of all this?

Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD,
and whose hope the LORD is.
For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters,
and that spreadeth out her roots by the river,
and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green;
and shall not be careful in the year of drought,
neither shall cease from yielding fruit. – Jeremiah 17:7-8

Get ROOTED.

Go DEEP in your relationship with GOD – deeper than you have ever been.  Ask Him to show you new dimensions of His love and the essence of His power. Only with God will you become steady during turbulent times.  The winds of change continue to blow and the heat of the unexpected burns, but nothing shall harm you.  He loves, protects and empowers you to be a blessing in any situation.  This requires a complete trust and focus on God instead of your circumstance.

SPREAD your roots among the “living water” of God’s Word.  Find at least one or two scriptures in the bible that you believe to be true.  If you’d like an example, here are two scriptures that you can begin to plant and grow roots in your spirit.

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them
that put their trust in him. – Proverbs 30:5

And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee;
for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee. – Jeremiah 1:19

Every day, speak the scriptures aloud and think on the words and their meaning until it abounds in you. You will know it is rooted when it comes into your mind or out of your mouth freely, without prompting. Once you have deeply rooted those scriptures in your spirit, search for others and repeat the process.  Firmly establish yourself in the truth of God – not mankind. Understand, it is the storms of life that reveal how deep and wide your roots have grown.

When we are spiritually rooted and grounded, we become impervious to the chaos in the world. Our emotions are steady.  We can love, forgive, prosper and go forward in the midst of any storm!

Get rooted in God’s Word and become UNSHAKABLE!

Mirror Makeover DIY

youtube-thumbnail-before-and-after-mirror

Are you ready for an easy DIY project?  Then, this mirror makeover is for you!  Here are the steps I took to refresh an old, builder grade mirror in our guest bathroom for under $40.   If you prefer a visual, check out this YouTube video:  Mirror DIY with Square Mosaic Glass Tiles.  All materials can be purchased at your local home improvement store.  I was so pleased at how my very first mirror DIY turned out.  You will be delighted at what you can do, too!

DIY skill level:  EASY!

Items needed:

  • glass cleaner $1
  • tape measure $1
  • small, mosaic tiles $5-12 per sheet
  • double-sided/two-side mounting tape $7 -10 per roll
  • scissors $1

Approx. total cost:   $37

1. Measure the four sides or perimeter of your mirror

  • decide how many rows of tile you want to make your frame. (I used 2 rows)
  • take those measurements to your local home improvement store to purchase square, mosaic tiles of your choice

2. Select your square, mosaic tile sheet

  • lightweight, square tiles with a flat surface adhere tighter and easier
    (I used Elida Ceramica Coral Light Uniform Squares Mosaic Glass/Metal/Stone Marble Wall Tile that I got on sale)
  • use your measurements and number of rows to determine how much tile you will need to create your mirror frame
    (the store associate helped me with the math to determine that I needed 2 sheets of mosaic tile according to my measurements)

3. Select your double-sided, mounting tape scotch-tape-pic-for-blog-post

  • make sure it is mounting tape that can hold at least 5lbs
    (sometimes referred to as two-sided tape)
  • make sure the tape thickness is adequate for the size of your tiles
    (I used .75in tape for 1in tiles)
  • make sure you have enough tape length for your measurements and row thickness
    (I only needed 1 roll of tape in the picture)

4. Clean your mirror thoroughly with glass cleaner

5. Cut the mounting tape to create a frame all around the perimeter of your mirror

  • do not remove the front side of the tape until you are ready to put on the tiles
  • you can make your frame as thick as you like
    (I used 2 rows of tape for my mirror)

mirror-diy-4-photos

6. Layout your tiles

  • pull off tiles from the netting and create the pattern you desire before putting the tiles on the tape
    (this step is important if you have multi-color tiles that you want to create a special design with on your mirror)
  • double check to make sure you have enough tiles to complete the mirror frame
  • laying out the tiles beforehand makes it easier and quicker to apply
    (I learned the hard way)

7. Begin to add tiles to the mirror tape frame

  • pull the backing from the tape in a small area
  • gently apply each tile one area at a time, then step back to eye your work
    (tiles can be re-positioned easier if you do not press hard…I learned the hard way…again)
  • repeat the process until mirror frame is complete
  • press all tiles firmly and securely on mounting tape

SPECIAL NOTE:  Most mirrors no longer use mirror clips to secure mirrors.  However, if you do have them like me, DO NOT REMOVE.  They are necessary although not cute. Your options include tiling around, painting or covering them.  I used a Dremel tool to cut a metal tile to cover mine.  You can click on this  Small Bathroom Renovation DIY YouTube video link (@ 5:22min) to see how this was done.

after-pic-close-up-at-bottom

8. Admire your new Mirror DIY!

  • clean your mirror and mosaic tile frame with glass cleaner
  • pat yourself on the back
  • add new bathroom accents to compliment your decor if you’d like
  • invite friends and family to share in your DIY joy

If this DIY was helpful, please share this blog post and video with your friends!  I would love to hear from you!  Please connect with me in the form below.

Thankful always!

 

Looking for Love

couple walking on beach

Many people are looking for that one true love. A good mate can contribute to a healthy, happy and prosperous life. I am amazed at how far some people will go just to experience love. Opening your heart to love and to be loved by someone special is a very important decision. Who we love is so significant, great care and wisdom should be taken before we proceed.

Consult with the One who is love.

I could have avoided serious heartaches if I only consulted with God before entering into a relationship. I did not understand that He wanted to be the lead in every area of my life, especially my love life. The internet, friends, clubs and social events were once the trusted source for finding companionship. I never thought that God could or would find a mate for me.

God is concerned with who you love and who loves you.

After looking for love in all the wrong places, I finally realized I had to open my heart and trust God.  I shared with Him what I was looking for in the man I would like to marry. No topic was spared…personality, character, height, sexual intimacy, family values, financial acumen, health, hobbies, spirituality, food preferences, physical strength, vocal tone, love language, etc. God listened to all my desires and qualifications. I even wrote them down and confessed them. I was excited and ready to meet this awesome man I had envisioned.  However, the Holy Spirit revealed another step in my quest for love that I had never before considered.

Pray for your mate before you meet them.

Initially, I was unsure how to pray for someone who I did not know even existed. My faith had to believe that this person was real and in need of prayer. I knew of all of his good attributes since I requested them, but I did not consider the areas where he may have weaknesses. Praying for him took the focus away from my desires and taught me a deeper level of compassion. We all are in need of prayer for something and true love covers all. I began to pray for my future husband, trusted God and waited patiently for Him to bring us together.  I know that even the best marriages should be covered in continuous prayer. I am glad God prepared me ahead of time. Prayer is powerful!

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation;
continuing instant in prayer;
distributing to the necessity of saints;
given to hospitality. – Romans 12:12-13

If you are looking for love, I encourage you to consult with God first and begin praying for your future mate. To read more on the power of prayer, go to Week 28: Pray and Give Thanks in the Power Over All book.